Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Nursing Registration

As the little fat kid in the Kaiser Permanente commercial said, "Things are lookin' up". I received my nursing registration from the New South Wales nursing board on July 2nd. I immediately sent some job applications to the local hospitals and have had a couple of interviews. I have accepted a job in the operating theatre (operating room) at the Royal North Shore Hospital right down the street from us. It's so close that the emergency helicopters fly over our apartment almost daily. Scott suggested that maybe I just hitch a ride to work on the helicopter -- tee hee. Things are still moving a bit slow. I need to get clearance on my vaccination records, pass a criminal background check, and then attend a hospital orientation. Only after all of these things are completed, can I actually start working as a nurse. On a very positive note, I am so excited to work! I don't think I've ever felt that way. I'm especially so excited to finally work as an RN. I wonder how long it will be until I become the same ol' jaded Heather?


If it isn't obvious from the latest pictures we've been taking, my new obsession is taking self-timer pics of us leaping in the air. This all started a few weeks ago when I realized that all of our gorgeous pictures were starting to look the same. I know it's been done before, but certainly we can do it better, right? We experienced an unexpected side effect of this activity -- belly aching laughs looking at the results of our leaping. My favorite so far (pictured here) was hilarious to both of us because neither of us knew what the other was planning (as far as a "pose"). After the picture was taken and before we saw the result, Scott said "man, I think I pulled my hamstring" and I responded, "yeah, I pulled my chest muscles". All of the pictures we've taken so far, show me laughing so hard I'm surprised I could get off the ground, while Scott is leaping with a stoic stare. Our most recent round of jumping pictures didn't work out so well. Scott had a pretty thick chest/head cold and we were trying to get too tricky. We placed the camera on the dune above the beach and tried to jump in front of the camera. There are a couple of problems with this. First, how do you see the little red blinking light in order to time your jump? Next, how do you simultaneously jump, spin (to face the camera), and land without hurting yourself? Both of us landed in a loud, rolling heap on the sand with our biking clothes/shoes on. Oh well, Scott forgot about his snot for about 5 minutes while we were acting like children.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

World Youth Day

World Youth Day (WYD) has enveloped Sydney this week. When we started to notice the advertisements for this event a few months ago, we wondered what it was. Youth from all over the world traveling to Sydney -- but for what? It turns out, this event is actually World Catholic Youth Day. The Dateline presenter, George Negus, interviewed a South African Cardinal last night on tv and asked why the event was called "World Youth Day" and not "World Catholic Youth Day" -- good question!

We could hear the opening "celebrations" (4 miles away) and got to see the massive fireworks show from our balcony. This opening celebration drew 140,000 participants. That's more people than could fill the University of Michigan stadium! I was prompted to write this post because I saw something noteworthy over the past few days on the tv news coverage of the events. At two different events, I heard and saw the same thing -- groups of US teenage pilgrims (participants in the events are called pilgrims) loudly and arrogantly chanting U-S-A. No other pilgrims, that I could see or hear, were chanting the name of their country.

Update: I did hear Costa Rican pilgrims chanting too

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


It feels like it's been a while since I posted anything about our "adventures". We've mostly been surfing since getting the van (during the weekends of course). Surfing in Australia is... tough. We are not good surfers and compared to those in Australia we absolutely suck. The toughest part though is that surfers, in general, are mean and territorial here. How many sports have a mean label for beginners (kook)? The big problem for us is that we aren't really beginners so we want to be out there with the big boys so that we can actually figure this sport out. The meanness is likely born out of the fact that there are limited waves and even more limited good waves. No surfer ever wants to share a wave either... Although I shouldn't compare surfing to starvation, surfers act like they are fighting for the resources of their life.

You'd think we could deal with the surfing culture based on our surfing resume: Hawaii, Baja, Costa Rica, Bali, Oregon, Washington, California, and Australia. The majority of our surfing has been on the cooooold Oregon coast where a nod and a wave aren't uncommon between fellow surfers.

We aren't giving up yet but I have a feeling that we aren't going to actually get much surfing in, until we can find some less crowded beaches. I don't think we can get far enough away from the population center for weekend trips but our goal for the next few weeks is to perhaps find some "nicer" surf beaches.

The positive part of our surfing weekends have been the gorgeous beaches we have explored. The beaches, headlands, and coastal walks certainly help me forget about the meanness!